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Brookline 5-year-old’s deadly fall appears accidental

A neighbor left a bouquet of flowers near the spot where a 5-year-old girl fell from a fourth-floor window.
A neighbor left a bouquet of flowers near the spot where a 5-year-old girl fell from a fourth-floor window.(Jeremy C. Fox for the Boston Globe)

BROOKLINE — A little girl’s fatal fall from a fourth-floor window Monday afternoon appears to be a tragic accident, a spokesman for Norfolk District Attorney Michael W. Morrissey said Tuesday.

“The information that we have at this point, it does not seem suspicious. . . . The kids were playing, and one went through the screen,” said David Traub, the spokesman.

Traub said the 5-year-old was taken to Boston Children’s Hospital with “very significant injuries.” He said the child’s name will not be released unless evidence is found that suggests the death was not an accident.

The girl, who lived in the building, was playing with the daughter of Katana Saka in his family’s apartment Monday afternoon, Saka said. He said he was at work at the time of the accident but had spoken with Brookline police afterward.

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“She’s a nice girl,” Saka said of the child who died. “She’s a good friend.”

Saka declined to discuss how the fall took place.

The child fell about 3:30 p.m. Monday from a building at the corner of Park and Beacon streets, Brookline police spokesman Lieutenant Philip Harrington said Monday. The 13-story tower has a commercial entrance at 1371 Beacon St. and a residential entrance at 133 Park St.

The ground below the window is paved with concrete. The window screen was found near the girl, Harrington said.

On Tuesday morning, a resident of the high-rise left a bouquet of red and yellow daisies beneath Saka’s window.

“It’s a tragic accident,” said the man, who declined to give his name. He said he did not know the child or her family but was stunned by her death. “I’m a resident, and I feel like I need to pay respect.”

The death comes in the wake of three recent nonfatal falls of children in local communities.

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In Quincy on Saturday, a 5-year-old boy survived a fall from a seven-story window, according to police. On June 28, a 3-year-old girl fell from a third-story window at an apartment in Framingham, police said. And on June 22, 2-year-old Luis Eduardo Gomez, of Chelsea, survived a second-story fall after he landed on his large stuffed cow, officials said.

Residents of the Brookline tower said it is safe and is well-maintained by the Druker Company, which manages the building. The company did not respond to requests for comment on Tuesday.

“That’s the first time it’s ever happened in this building,” said Elaine, a resident since 1974 who declined to give her last name, of the child’s death. “This happens to be a wonderful building. I love it. I really do.”

James Ross, 51, who has lived in the building since 1977, said, “Nothing’s happened like this in 40-some-odd years. Nobody’s jumped. Nobody’s fallen.”

The building is in the process of having new windows installed, but residents said the timing is a coincidence, and that both the old and new windows appear to be safe.

“If you look at any building, someone falls against the screen, the screen’s going to come out,” said a nine-year resident of the building, who asked that his name not be published. The man said the windows are about four feet off the ground — taller than a young child.

“What are they going to do, put bars on every window?” he asked. “I don’t think it’s a question of safety, even. I just think it’s a very tragic accident.”

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But Kyoichi Kanedo, a 36-year-old father of a 3-year-old and a 1-year-old, said he and his wife had safety concerns and had discussed them with another parent in the building on Tuesday morning.

“We worry about the babies falling,” he said.


Jeremy C. Fox can be reached at jeremy.fox@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @jeremycfox.